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Proposition 46 under fire: Experts call for better approach to physician drug testing

September 29, 2014

In two editorials published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, three physicians are speaking out against California’s Proposition 46, which would require mandatory drug testing of physicians — either randomly or after an “unexpected death or serious injury” — among other provisions.

According to the proposed legislation, physicians who test positive on drug or alcohol tests would be temporarily suspended, pending an investigation. The measure also requires physicians prescribing schedule II or schedule III controlled substances for the first time to consult the state’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). Malpractice lawsuits are also addressed — the law proposes adjusting the $250,000 cap on compensation to account for inflation. The new adjusted cap would be $1.1 million if the measure is passed, according to one of the editorials.

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